With all the talk surrounding England’s substandard performance during the World Cup, Fabio Capello knows only a win will suffice as he looks to lead England into the 2012 European Championships in Poland and Ukraine.
Despite all the issues surrounding England’s World Cup performance, Capello’s side were unbeaten in their last qualifying campaign and are firm 3/10 favourites to start this qualifying campaign with a win.
Frank Lampard, John Terry and Peter Crouch are out due to injury and Capello will hope Wayne Rooney can end his 868 minutes without an England goal after netting for Manchester United last weekend – he is 11/4 to score first.
Capello is without both his first choice centre-backs after Terry joined Rio Ferdinand on the physio bench, and is likely to pair Michael Dawson with Matthew Upson in the centre of midfield.
England have never lost to Bulgaria, winning four and drawing four, conceding just the one goal in the eight matches and with Joe Hart in such scintillating form, the 8/11 offered for England to keep a clean sheet looks good value.
Bulgaria will be without Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov after he announced his retirement from international football and former Manchester City striker, Valeri Bojinov, will lead the line.
Head coach Stanimir Stoilov has the luxury of a full strength squad available to him but it lacks the strength to trouble England, reflected in their price of 10/1.
England averaged 2.8 goals in their previous seven European Qualifiers, are unbeaten at Wembley in 10 games and are 5/1 to win 2-0.
The team will look to Steven Gerrard as captain to lead from the front and having scored three of England’s last five games, he is likely to do just that at 5/1 to score first.
Bulgaria shouldn’t prove any problems for England and they should win comfortably. See the full England vs Bulgaria football betting market here.